IoT Gateways – Tha Impact and Implications in IoT Infrastructure
The emergence of IoT devices has left no field untouched. Today, not only can you monitor your home with IoT devices, but you can also keep an eye on your industrial machines while sitting in your office chair. Moreover, you can easily manage supply chains, fleets, etc.
One of the indispensable components of the IoT infrastructure is the IoT gateway. It is a pivotal element connecting countless IoT devices, sensors, and the cloud. An IoT gateway is a combination of hardware and software which seamlessly communicates with the machine/equipment.
In an industrial environment, where there can be countless machines. It becomes necessary to monitor all of them with remote equipment monitoring and control systems. This helps in improving overall equipment health while reducing downtime and maintenance costs.
An industrial IoT gateway is the perfect way to manage the data collected by these sensors. However, it is not that easy to choose one. Here are some factors that you need to consider while choosing an industrial IoT gateway.
Key Factors to Consider for Choosing an IoT Gateway For Your Industrial Unit
If you want to automate the process of your manufacturing, transportation, eCommerce, or any other type of business, you have to integrate gateway into it.
Here are some factors to analyze in an IoT gateway:
The purpose for which an IoT gateway is installed is an important aspect to consider. As there can be various types of sensors that need to be integrated, the data collected by these sensors will also be different.
For instance, the IoT gateway required for manufacturing will be different than that required by a shipping firm. How?
The sensor data of the manufacturing will be related to the machine/equipment performance. On the other hand, data of the shipping firm will be related to the vehicles and their performance parameters like fuel consumption, mileage, etc.
As both of these scenarios will require different types of gateway functionality, the IoT gateway required will also be different.
Do you know that it takes only five minutes for an IoT device to be attacked when it is connected to the internet? Imagine you have thousands of sensors integrated into a gateway and all of this data gets hacked. Sounds scary, right?
Well, to make sure that this does not happen, verify if the IoT gateway has the required security features to shield the data. Check if it is equipped with the required encryption standards and authentication process.
Some of the top encryptions for IoT are DES, AES, Triple DES, RSA, and Twofish Encryption Algorithm.
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So, data security is done. What about data storage? As your gateway will be collecting a massive amount of data from countless devices, machines, and sensors, it needs to have some sort of storage to keep all of it.
In the worst-case scenario, if your gateway loses internet connection, it won’t be able to store data onto the cloud server. Here, the local storage of a gateway will come in handy.
A smart building generates around 250 GB of data per day. Therefore, it is necessary to check if the IoT gateway has a storage facility. Further, it is imperative to verify if that storage is expandable.
The location of your sensors and devices can vary based on the type of system you have. For example, a factory that manufactures cars might have all the sensors indoors and on the surface.
On the other hand, a telecom firm may have all of its sensors outdoors and at the height of the communication tower.
Both of these scenarios will need different types of installation. The telecom firm may need an IoT gateway at a height where weather conditions might be harsh.
On the other hand, the carmaker may need to install it in an HVAC room as it may dissipate a lot of heat. So, the installation will vary based on external factors.
6. Edge Computing
As per Marketsandmarkets, the global edge computing market will grow up to $15.7 billion by 2025. This growth is due to the increased demand for low latency data processing, automated decision making, etc.
To ensure that your entire IoT architecture runs smoothly and fast, ensure that the gateway has edge computing applications. It will help in processing and storing sensor data, handling diagnostics and OTA, enhancing reliability, decreasing latency, and strengthening security.
To ensure that you can access the gateway data on a smartphone or PC, you need to ensure that the gateway supports connection to the latest connectivity networks and protocols.
Most of the gateways today support nearby connectivity via Bluetooth, Ethernet, and long-distance connectivity via Ethernet, LoRaWan, NB-IoT. If you need an option that goes beyond this limit, you can look for gateways that come with the support of GSM, GPRS, and LTE.
Also, check if the gateway supports protocols like HTTPS, TCP/IP, Modbus, etc. Having some hardware connection facilities like a USB port, RS485, RS232 will also be a great add-on.
You may be using legacy machines and equipment’s in your factory or must be thinking of upgrading them in the future. So, to make all types of machines and equipment’s work well with the IoT gateway, you need to check if the gateway is compatible with these legacy and advanced machines and equipment. It will save you a lot of money.
It is quite evident that if you plan to expand your business in the future, you may not want to invest in an IoT gateway again and again. Hence, it is best to look for a gateway that can be integrated with all of your machines and equipment.
Ensure that it has flexible hardware and robust architecture with a special focus on security.
IoT gateway is an integral and central element of the IoT infrastructure. Hence, it is necessary to take your time while opting for the best one. Ensure that it has all the necessary aspects that can help you automate and manage every part of your industrial production process efficiently.